Featured Events

    I LIVE YOU [AUTOCORRECT] by Douglas Williams

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    Playwright Douglas Williams.

    PlayPenn is pleased to host two public readings of a new play, I LIVE YOU [AUTOCORRECT], by Douglas Williams. These readings are the culmination of a week long developmental workshop.

    When and Where:
    October 21st, 2019 at 7:00PM, The Bluver Theatre (302 S. Hicks Street, Philadelphia, PA)
    October 23rd, 2019 at 7:00PM, Theatre Horizon (401 DeKalb Street, Norristown, PA)
    Please note there will be no late seating at these performances.

    I LIVE YOU [AUTOCORRECT]

    By Douglas Williams
    Director: Matthew S. Decker
    Dramaturg: Michele Volansky

    Cast: Caroline Dooner, Dave Johnson, Leigha Kato, and Garrick Vaughan

    Most days, Sara’s only in-depth conversation is with the Google Home that sits next to her bed. Drowning in technology and overworked at her job at Zipcar, Sara travels to a remote location in Upstate New York for the soft opening of a new, mysterious digital detox retreat.

    Readings are free and open to the public.

    Tickets will be available up until 3pm the day of the reading. After 3pm, tickets will be available at the door.

    Questions? Contact mail@playpenn.org

    Doug Williams‘ plays have been produced and developed at PlayPenn, SPACE on Ryder Farm, Great Plains Theatre Conference, Azuka Theatre, Orbiter 3, Theatre Horizon, The Foundry & The Painted Bride, among others.

    He is the Playwright-In-Residence at Azuka Theatre who has produced three of his plays, including the upcoming SHIP.

    His play Shitheads was recommended for the Harold & Mimi Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award and was the winner of 4 Philadelphia Critics’ Awards including Best New Play & Best Overall Production.

    Foundry Readings @ Plays and Players

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    Join PlayPenn @ Plays and Players in the 3rd Floor Skinner Studio for a series of free work in progress readings by current members of The Foundry. Quig’s will be open before, during, and after each reading. No reservations needed.

    My Grandma Said It Was Gonna Rain

    by Stephanie Kyung Sun Walters

    When:
    June 25, 2019
    Time: 7pm

    Where:
    Upstairs at Plays and Players Theatre, 1714 Delancey Place, Philadelphia, PA

     

    Emmy’s parents died this summer. Between selling the family farm and painting houses with the town medium, Emmy is juggling her new role as caretaker of her eccentric grandma. Family, duty, and pickling form a new trinity in this exploration of the small town girl.

    Battman and Jesus

    by Teresa Miller

    When:
    July 9, 2019
    Time: 7pm

    Where:
    Upstairs at Plays and Players Theatre, 1714 Delancey Place, Philadelphia, PA

     

    Cholley Johnson joined the army to escape the trauma of his preacher father only to be discharged from the Vietnam war and forced to confront his past.

    Stray Cats and Pecan Pie

    by Julie Zaffarano

    When:
    July 23, 2019
    Time: 7pm

    Where:
    Upstairs at Plays and Players Theatre, 1714 Delancey Place, Philadelphia, PA

     

    Olivia, a college freshman, is “super excited” to find her birth mother, Darlene, who is significantly less enthralled. When Olivia pushes Darlene for information about her birth father, Darlene reluctantly reveals far more than Olivia expects.  Can these two find their way to acceptance?

    Better to Have Never Been

    by Jenny Ruymann

    When:
    July 30, 2019
    Time: 7pm

    Where:
    Upstairs at Plays and Players Theatre, 1714 Delancey Place, Philadelphia, PA

     

    Based on anti-natalist philosopher David Benatar’s book of a nearly identical title, this new work is about the question of whether living brings each of us a far greater pain than we even know, and whether it is even “worth it” to ask such questions. Better to Have Never Been is about the infant babies and old-age babies, and how we gauge the quality of what happens in between.

    Questions? Contact Foundry Leader Quinn D. Eli at: quinndestaleli@gmail.com

    HOW A BOY FALLS by Steven Dietz

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    Playwright Steven Dietz. Photo by John Ullman.

    PlayPenn is pleased to host a public reading of a new play, How a Boy Falls, by Steven Dietz.

    When: June 3, 2019 at 7:00PM
    Please note there will be no late seating at this performance.

    Where: The Bob and Selma Horan Studio Theatre at the Arden’s Hamilton Family Center, located at 62 N. 2nd St, Philadelphia, PA 19106

    How a Boy Falls

    By Steven Dietz

    Director: Anne Marie Cammarato

    Dramaturgs: Michele Volansky and Paul Meshejian

     

    The loss of a young boy casts suspicion on his newly-hired au pair, as well as on the wealthy parents who have hired her.  As the parents seek revenge upon one another, the young au pair is hatching a plot of her own.  How a Boy Falls is a psychological thriller about the way in which past events can be weaponized to shape the present.

     

    This reading is free and open to the public.  

     

    Tickets will be available up until 4pm the day of the reading. After 4pm, tickets will be available at the door.

    Questions? Contact mail@playpenn.org

    Steven Dietz‘s thirty-plus plays and adaptations have been seen at over one hundred regional theatres in the United States, as well as Off-Broadway. International productions have been seen in over twenty countries, including recently in Brazil, Thailand, South Africa, Estonia and Iran. His work has been translated into a dozen languages. Recent world premieres include Bloomsday (Steinberg New Play Award Citation); This Random World (Humana Festival of New American Plays); Rancho Mirage (Edgerton New Play Award), and On Clover Road (NNPN “rolling world premiere”). His interlocking plays for adult and youth audiences (The Great Beyond and The Ghost of Splinter Cove) recently premiered in Charlotte, NC. A two-time winner of the Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays Award (Fiction, Still Life with Iris), Dietz is also a two-time finalist for the American Theatre Critic’s Steinberg New Play Award (Last of the Boys, Becky’s New Car). He received the PEN USA West Award in Drama for Lonely Planet, and the Edgar Award® for Drama for Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure. Currently a Dramatists Guild “Traveling Master”, Dietz teaches workshops in playwriting and story-making across the U.S. He and his wife, playwright Allison Gregory, divide their time between Seattle and Austin.

    HOMERIDAE by Alexandra Espinoza

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    Twice a year PlayPenn provides a free, professional public reading for a currently enrolled studentHomeridae by Alexandra Espinoza is the recipient of our spring semester play selection.

    When:
    May 13, 2019
    Time: 7pm

    Where:
    The Proscenium Theater at The Drake, 302 S. Hicks Street, Philadelphia, PA

     

    Mac, an adjunct lecturer, and Nessa, a freshman, have a lot in common. They’re slightly awkward, deeply passionate about Homer’s The Odyssey, and are both African-Americans in a very white department at a very white school. They stumble upon the discovery that Homer himself came from Africa and must figure out how best to honor this in the face of conservative administrators, overbearing older siblings, the Internet, and Homer himself. HOMERIDAE is a play about stories, language, knowledge, and loss; and about finding your voice when it seems like no one is listening.

     

    This reading is free and open to the public.  

     

    Reservations end at 4pm the day of the reading. Seats will be available at the door.

     

    Questions? Contact mail@playpenn.org

    Alexandra Espinoza is a Philadelphia based theatre artist whose work aims to connect creative power to community voices. Performance credits include work with Orbiter 3 and Azuka Theatre. As a playwright, she is a first-year member of the Foundry at PlayPenn, and her plays have received productions and readings with Juniper Productions. Alexandra practices dramaturgy as community engagement and serves as the inaugural “communiturg” at Simpatico Theatre. Additional dramaturgy and directing credits include work with Azuka Theatre, Inis Nua Theatre, and PlayPenn. She is a resident teaching artist at Philadelphia Young Playwrights and has facilitated the creative work of people aged seven to seventy. M.A. in Theatre, Villanova University.

    Botanicals, or Giving it to God by Keenya Jackson

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    Twice a year PlayPenn provides a free, professional public reading for a currently enrolled studentBotanicals, or Giving it to God by Keenya Jackson is the recipient of our fall semester play selection.

    When:
    February 11, 2019
    Time: 7pm

    Where:
    The Proscenium Theater at The Drake, 302 S. Hicks Street, Philadelphia, PA

     

    Joe appears to be a crotchety old man who likes to talk to his plants and pretty much no one else. After calling the police on his neighbors, Joe is no longer able to keep his head stuck in the dirt. He’s forced to deal with his neighbors, his family—and himself.

     

    This reading is free and open to the public.  

     

    Reservations end at 4pm the day of the reading. Seats will be available at the door.

     

    Questions? Contact mail@playpenn.org

    Keenya Jackson is a Philadelphia playwright. She has a bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies from Arcadia University. In 2015, she became an active member of the Philadelphia Dramatist Center (PDC), now serving as the board secretary. Keenya continues to grow as a playwright and in theatre by studying at PlayPenn in Philadelphia and the National Symposium in Cape May, NJ. Her latest produced play was The Return of the Shogun, which was produced in 2018 by Revamp Collective’s Brief (physical) Encounters.

    THE HAUNTED LIFE by Sean Daniels

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    Playwright Sean Daniels

    PlayPenn is pleased to host a public reading of a new adaptation of the lost Kerouac novel, The Haunted Life, adapted by Sean Daniels

    When: December 17, 2018 at 7:30PM
    Please note there will be no late seating at this performance.

    Where: The Proscenium Theatre at The Drake located at 302 S. Hicks Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102.

    The Haunted Life

    By Sean Daniels

    Based on the book by Jack Kerouac

    Director: Christopher Oscar Peña

    Dramaturg: Michele Volansky

     

    A new adaptation of a lost novel by Jack Kerouac, The Haunted Life is a deeply-felt family drama that follows the coming of age story of college student Peter Martin and his relationship with his conservative father. Taking place during America’s last golden summer before entering WWII, it chronicles the cost of war on a small town.

     

    This reading is free and open to the public.  

     

    Currently all seats have been reserved, however we encourage you to sign up for the waitlist and arrive 15 minutes beforehand. We expect to be able to accommodate those who show up for released seats.

    Questions? Contact mail@playpenn.org

    Sean Daniels is the current Artistic Director at Merrimack Repertory Theatre . Before joining MRT, he was the Artist-At-Large at the Geva Theatre Center in Rochester, New York, where he received national attention for the Cohort Club, a program designed to better engage audience members with the work on stage.

    Sean was named “One of the top fifteen up & coming artists in the U.S., whose work will be transforming America’s stages for decades to come.” and “One Of 7 People Reshaping And Revitalizing The American Musical” by American Theatre Magazine.

    Sean previously spent four years at the Tony Award-winning Actors Theatre of Louisville as the theater’s Associate Artistic Director (where he directed 17 productions including 5 Humana Festivals). He was also Associate Artistic Director/Resident Director of the California Shakespeare Theater and before that spent a decade as the Artistic Director and Co-Founder of Dad’s Garage Theater Company in Atlanta.

    SALT PEPPER KETCHUP by Josh Wilder

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    Playwright Josh Wilder

    PlayPenn is pleased to host a public reading of a new work by Philadelphia playwright, Josh Wilder.

    When:

    Monday, June 4th at 7pm

    Where:

    The Drake Proscenium Theatre, 302 S Hicks St, Philadelphia, PA 19102

     

    Salt Pepper Ketchup

    by Josh Wilder

    Director: Jerrell L. Henderson

    Dramaturg: Michele Volansky

    Stage Manager: Tom Shotkin

     

    A layer of bulletproof glass won’t protect Superstar Chinese Take-Out owners from the gentrification consuming the Point Breeze neighborhood in South Philly. When a trendy food co-op opens nearby, the Wu’s and their customers initially see it as a hipster annoyance, but as tensions mount they begin to recognize the intrusion as an act of war. Tinged with genuine humor and pathos, Wilder’s play examines the very human consequences of neighborhood redevelopment — who benefits and who gets chewed up and spit out?

     

    This reading is free and open to the public.  

     

    Questions? Contact email@playpenn.org

    Josh Wilder is a playwright from Philadelphia. His work has been developed at various theaters and festivals across the country including The Fire This Time Festival, New York Theatre Workshop, The Drama League, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, 2015 O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, and Milwaukee Rep. His play LEFTOVERS was the recipient of the Holland New Voices Award at The Great Plains Theatre Conference, and will be premiering this season at Company One Theatre in Boston. Recent commissions include, LOVE’S LABOUR’S LOST for Play On! at Oregon Shakespeare Festival; and SHE A GEM for The Kennedy Center. Josh is a former Jerome Fellow and Many Voices Fellow at The Playwrights’ Center; has been in residence at The Royal Court Theatre; Sundance at UCross; and currently serves as Co-Artistic Director at The Yale Cabaret. Josh is a graduating MFA candidate in Playwriting at Yale School of Drama.

    Are You My Father or the dream ballet of north korea by Stephanie N. Walters

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    Stephanie wrote and revised this play in our Education classes and now it’s getting a free professional public reading at PlayPenn!

    When:
    May 14, 2018
    Time: 7pm

    Where:
    The Bluver Theater at The Drake, 302 S. Hicks Street, Philadelphia, PA

    Are You My Father or the dream ballet of north korea
    by Stephanie N. Walters

    Are You My Father … is a comedy exploring love and coming of age in one of the world’s most mysterious nations. Meet North Korean elite Min-Jun as she struggles with understanding freedom, disappointing family, and dreaming about Kim Il-Sung. Min-Jun’s world is rocked when she is magically spirited away to South Korea and a new life.

    This reading is free and open to the public.  

    Reservations end at 3pm the day of the reading. Seats will be available at the door.

    Questions? Contact email@playpenn.org

    Stephanie N. Walters is an emerging playwright in Philadelphia. She’s a first year member of The Foundry and studies with PlayPenn. Her most recent work, “Are You My Father or the dream ballet of north korea”, received a workshop with HBMG Foundation’s National Writers Retreat and a residency with Philadelphia Asian Performing Artists/Asian Arts Initiative. Additional plays have been produced and developed with Dragon’s Eye Theatre, Philadelphia Women’s Theatre Festival, Asian Arts Initiative, Revamp Collective, and Philadelphia’s Future is Female Festival. Stephanie is also a proud member of Actor’s Equity Association, a Barrymore Nominated actress, and a teaching artist. She is a graduate of Bucknell University, the London Dramatic Academy, and CAP21. Stephanie’s work gives new life to Korean mothers, evil dictators, lost lovers, bright children, dying Chinatowns, dating apps, and punk rock goddesses. Her whimsical, comedic, curious, and AZN plays can be found on NPX.

    2018 Conference Intern Application

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    2017 Conference Interns.

    PlayPenn is looking for six individuals who have an interest in playwriting/ dramaturgy/ directing to take part in our 2018 Conference, between July 8th and July 30th, 2018.  This is a wonderful opportunity for motivated young theater artists to work alongside experienced professionals in a concentrated and fulfilling environment.  

    Each intern will assist a collaborative team in the development of one of six plays invited to the conference chosen in a national search.  Interns will also assist, as needed, in the administrative, front of house and public relations responsibilities of the conference.

    Interns will also be given the opportunity to participate in a playwriting workshop culminating in the public presentation of their own written work performed by conference artists.

    Each intern will receive a $300 stipend for their work at the conference.

    Unfortunately, PlayPenn cannot provide housing, though we are willing to assist out of town interns in finding housing options in the city for the duration of the conference

    The deadline to apply is March 15, 2018.

     

    If filling out the application on your mobile device, click here.

    Questions? Contact production@playpenn.org

    THE PEAR-SHAPED MAN FIGHTS CRIME by Alex Dremann

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    Alex wrote and revised this play in our Education classes and now it’s getting a free professional public reading at PlayPenn!

    When:
    March 5, 2018
    Time: 7pm

    Where:
    The Proscenium Theater at The Drake, 302 S. Hicks Street, Philadelphia, PA

    THE PEAR-SHAPED MAN FIGHTS CRIME
    by Alex Dremann

    The artists in the hipster neighborhood of LOLA are losing their post-gentrification turf war to a corporation called The Farm and Magda’s artisan bakery is on the verge of going under.  When Magda creates a new spelt muffin that finally draws in new customers, The Farm discovers Betty and Zeke, the last two artists in LOLA who have taken refuge in the bakery.  Magda’s pear-shaped nephew Paul, stuck behind the bakery counter most of his life, is just hoping for a little crime to fight— and when The Farm attacks, set on franchising Betty and Zeke then destroying both the bakery and LOLA, he finally gets his chance.

    This reading is free and open to the public.  

    Reservations end at noon the day of the reading. Seats are available at the door.

    Questions? Contact email@playpenn.org

    Alex studied playwriting at USC and has had 300+ productions of his short plays.  Evenings of his collected short plays include: “Slap Happy” (Madlab Theatre), “B-Sides, Rarities and Unreleased Tracks” (Wilmington City Theatre), “Bipolar by Thursday (Theatre Neo) and “13 Lemonade Ave.” (Secret Room Theatre).  Full lengths include: “Split Pea Pod” (The Brick Playhouse), “Postcoital Variations” (Philadelphia Theatre Workshop) and “The :nv:s:ble Play” (PTW, Madlab Theatre & Theatre of NOTE).  Published plays include “On the Porch One Crisp Spring Morning” in “The Humana Festival 2009: The Complete Plays”.  www.alexdremann.com